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Endometrial polyps

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:50 pm
Endometrial or uterine polyps (PAUL-ips) are soft, fingerlike growths which develop in the lining of the uterus, that usually occur in women over 40. However, women can develop them at any age after menstruation begins. Frequently, endometrial polyps are the cause of nonmenstrual bleeding. The doctor can find them by using a small telescope called a hysteroscope (HISS-ter-oh-scope), to look into the uterus. It's possible that an endometrial polyp may be rooted high in the uterus, with a stem reaching all the way to the cervix. This type of polyp is usually located and removed in surgery. Luckily, polyps tend to be easy to remove, because they're often loosely attached to the uterine lining. After the surgery, the endometrial polyp and some of the surrounding tissue are studied by the pathologist to make sure about the diagnosis. Doctors don't know what causes polyps, but in the uterus, they're usually harmless. However, if you have any unusual menstrual symptoms such as heavy or long periods, spotting between periods, or severe cramps, contact a health care professional for an examination.
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